Monday, May 30, 2011

God thought enough of me to think me up!

I was mulling on the very fact that I was created at all...

I wonder if God said... I'm going to make a 'Sonja', and here is what her life will look like...

And then I wondered... Do I look like that?...

I know that He had specific and clear plans for what I should be. I know that He planted gifts in my life that He meant to use for His glory.

Am I using them?

Do you ever have those random thoughts, and suddenly you know they aren't so random?

I wonder how close to His blueprint for my life I am living.

I'm telling you... these thoughts came to me out of the blue, and made me head straight to my computer before I forgot them...

I know one thing for sure!

God did NOT accidentally flick His fingers and throw us into this world, and since then has waited around to see how we would turn out...

He isn't that kind of God.

He knew from the very beginning who we would be and what the design of our lives looked like... to the last detail.

What He does wait for is our response to all that He has invested and promised to us.

Our lives were formed with purpose and meaning, and to bring glory to His name.
Now you know why those 'random thoughts' have bolted me upright, and have my full attention...

I know deep down in my heart that God created me and gave me life. Today... that thought from His heart to mine has both riveted my attention and reminded me again that all of my life is His gift.

I want it to be used the way He intended, every day, so that one day when I come face to face with Him, He will smile in recognition and be happy to see me.

Like my dad used to say... "May I be known at His throne".

Monday, May 23, 2011


I'm remembering an incident when our 3 kids were young and we lived in Austin, Texas.

One night when I went to tuck the boys in and was ready to say prayers with them, I found them both on their knees by their beds with their hands clasped, praying. I asked them about it. With sober faces, they told me...

The neighbor boy across the street had found some Playboy magazines in his dad's closet, up on a high shelf. He took them down, and collected our 2 boys to come and take a furtive look at these magazines.

Our boys were full of guilt... they knew better!

After they looked at the magazines, our 2 boys took them out into the woods and dug a hole and buried them... That was what they were confessing on their knees that night.

Several nights later...

There they were on their knees again. I asked about it, and with big sad eyes they said..."we dug them back up!"...

...and before you react with either a smile or maybe even shock...Isn't that just like us with sin?

We do it with our own sins, and we do it with the sins of others!

We confess it, we get forgiven, or we forgive someone who has wronged us, and it's buried, 'as far as the east is from the west', and then our minds begin to think about it again, and we go back and dig it up...

'maybe it wasn't so bad'...

'it really didn't hurt anyone'...

'she should never have done that, she deserves what she gets'...

you know what I mean...

I can't tell you how many times I've thought of this story through the years, it's a snapshot not only of 2 little boys, but of God's very own children... us.

"Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage." (Gal.5:1)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The end of the world...

I am helping myself to our friend Dr. John Stumbo's blog, written yesterday, since 'the world is going to end today'...


I have a book in my library titled 88 Reasons Why The Rapture Will Be in 1988. I never read it. But, I like to have it on my shelf. It reminds me of what idiots Christians can be.

Not that I should need any reminders.

Before I proceed, I should identify myself. In case a new reader stumbles onto this blog today, may I clearly state that I am a lifelong follower of Jesus Christ and (sometimes with embarrassment, sometimes with great joy) include myself in the Christian community. I’m writing as an insider.

By now you’ve no doubt heard the news that we’re down to our last 24 hours…at least according to radio host, Harold Camping. At age 88, Harold continues a worldwide broadcast and has studied the Bible longer than most of us have been alive.

If history reveals anything to us, it tells us that just because one has studied a subject at length does not automatically make one accurate.

I believe Camping is wrong.

I believe he’s worse than wrong.

I believe Camping is in the same “camp” as the pastor who burned the Quran, the crazed individuals who bomb abortion clinics or kill doctors, and the venom-mouthed haters of homosexuals.

Let me introduce myself a second time. I believe the Quran misleads millions, abortions are the taking of a human life, and the act of homosexuality is a degrading sin. Yet, I’m convinced that Christians are to love Muslims, abortionists, gays and a thousand other people groups that have different perspectives than ours. I’m convinced that this love should be genuine and tangible … you know, like the love Jesus expressed.

The reason I lump Camping in with these others is because from burning Quran’s to predicting dates, Christians once again come off looking like idiots.

The news media loves these stories. The skeptical community has more reason to scoff. Stand up comedians have an easy night on the job.

And don’t think that people haven’t heard about Camping’s prediction. One of the best ways to know what has the world’s attention is to follow Google Trends. The brains at Google make available to us what are the hottest searches each day. For most of this week, searches like “end of the world may 21”, “judgment day may 21” and “harold camping may 21” have been high on the list.

I’m no expert in Harold Camping’s theology, nor do I care to be. But, from what I understand he came upon his date-setting by using mathematical calculations. These calculations arose from the theory that words in the Bible have numeric value. By putting together three words atonement, completeness and heaven, multiplying them and then doing so again (squaring them) – Waa Laa – the Judgment Day is tomorrow!

Make sense to you?

Not to me either.

But that’s what billboards across the world—from Minnesota to India—are proclaiming: Judgment Day May 21 The Bible Guarantees It.

At least Harold’s Bible does.

Mine says something simpler, “No one knows about that day or hour … therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.” (Jesus in Matthew 24)

None of this would matter much to me if I didn’t fear one thing. I’m concerned that because of people like Harold Camping, many serious minded people will not bother exploring who the real Jesus is.

When they wake up on May 22, I don’t think they’ll head off to find a Christian church. I think they’ll have all the more reason to write off the Christian faith as a myth or conspiracy theory.

The real Jesus—the heaven-sent Messiah come into this world to atone for our sin, conquer death and lead us to the Father—will be missed.

And that makes me sad.

Thanks, Harold.

Next time save your math skills for a Sudoku puzzle, not the Scriptures."

Written by Dr.John Stumbo, May 20, 2011

POSTSCRIPT: It's 6:05 p.m., and here we are, still waiting, but... He IS coming again! May each of us live daily with that expectation motivating us.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


I'm having a moment!

A little background...

When you are working at weight loss, and doing what it takes to return to your former size and break the habits of years of wrong eating...

...the mind digresses...

Today... I am back in Pasadena, California at Bob's, Home of the Big Boy Burgers!

During my growing up years in Pasadena, there was NO place I would rather eat. Their burgers, fries and malts, or even a plain Coke... unless you grew up there and loved them like we did... there's no way to explain today's memory.

When we moved to Texas, it was called Kip's here, same thing, just a different name. But now there are none in Texas, and I think 2 are left in California.

Recently, an In and Out Burger place opened north of us. (Also from California) I happened to be out there with my daughter shopping nearby. There were 100's, maybe close to 1000 people waiting in long lines, and cars snaked for blocks for the drive through. One former California lady was in tears. It was unbeleivable! I couldn't imagine being one of those people...

...until I thought of Bob's!

If they open a Bob's in Texas... I WILL be in the line!

Meanwhile, back to my oatmeal for breakfast...

Final 'food' for thought...

"Oh listen, dear child—become wise; point your life in the right direction. Don't drink too much wine and get drunk; don't eat too much food and get fat." (Prov.23:19)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Different by design...

Once in awhile when I read some of Paul's writings, I wonder about his life. I wonder what made him so zealous, passionate and even sometimes blunt...

God created Paul, He KNEW who Paul was, and He knew that the very passion and zeal Paul had as a 'religious Jew', would be the same passion he would bring to the spreading of the gospel, when he discovered the truth and his life was changed forever on the road to Damascus...

Then I thought of John, the disciple that Jesus called 'the beloved disciple', and how different his temperament was, and how Jesus loved him and trusted him, even enough to care for his own mother as he went to the cross.

Then there was Peter... boldly and quickly popping off, reaching for his sword to cut off the soldier's ear as he staunchly defended Jesus... only to cower a short time later as he denied the same Saviour.

And the list goes on and on...

David, a man after God's own heart, and yet a fallen sinner who totally repented and went on to great things for the kingdom...

I relate to these men and women in the Bible... they are you and they are me...

God uses all of us, fallen and sinful though He knows we are... He changes us, He uses everything in our lives to 'work together for good, His good... so we will be used for His purposes.

Each of us different, in personality and temperament...yet all created by the same Saviour, who made those unique traits.

Do you relate to these Biblical men and women of faith? Do you recognize yourself in any of them?

Much alike in so many ways, yet different... but all by His design, for His purposes. It takes life from 'no hope because of who we are NOT, to everything is possible BECAUSE OF WHO HE IS'...

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Birth order musings...

Did you ever read the birth order book?

I read it a few years ago. Honestly... I laughed out loud at some of the descriptions. I don't know why I had never thought much about it, but even though it may not all apply, I see the reality and reasoning as I reflect on my own family.

I was a middle child... look out!

It isn't that I got 'lost in the shuffle' exactly, but the oldest was the one who kind of took charge of the other 2, and the youngest was the one who EXPECTED things to kind of go her way.

Then, with my own kids... more of the same. Our oldest is extremely responsible and can take charge with no problems. The middle one is the MIDDLE one, and the baby EXPECTS things, and those things HAPPEN for him! And now, my kids are seeing the same thing with their own kids.

The whole concept makes me smile.

And then there is the ONLY child, like my husband.... that's another story altogether!

Can you see the birth order traits in your own family??

The top picture is my brother and sister and I.... now I've come full circle to our own 6 grandkids, and I can see the birth order traits in all of them, not to mention how beautiful and perfect and wonderful they are!!

They have blessed and enriched my life... family, hubby, kids, grandkids and the whole lot... on this Mother's Day, and every day!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Does Jane have a garden in heaven?...

I'm remembering my friend, Jane.

Although she lived clear across the country from me, our hearts bonded many years ago when she and her husband visited us in Dallas. She had recently lost her son to suicide.

I said 'Jane... God understands. He lost His son too, for you and me.'...

She repeated the words as the tears ran down her face...

All through the following years, our relationship was by phone, many times, and at sometimes at great length...

My friend Jane lived with pain, surgeries, and a dying body, for about 10 years. She was released from her body in mid April, and she is at home with the Lord.

Jane had more physical problems than almost anyone I have ever met. They began late in her life, and they robbed her of much of the day to day living that I take for granted.

One of the things she lost and grieved over the most, was the joy of being out in her garden and planting flowers and enjoying the beauty around her.

When she died, I went and got new pots for our front porch, and the prettiest flowers and greenery I could find, and I planted them in honor of Jane. I know she would have understood and loved that. I made these pictures into a card we sent to her hubby, who cared for her so beautifully... along with a pair of lavender garden gloves with orange flowers.

Does Jane have a garden in heaven? I don't know that for sure, but in my heart I believe she does! ..."Eye has not seen nor ear heard the things that God has prepared for those who love Him".

The God who created the beauty of our world, most surely has saved the best for last, and I can just picture Jane happily planting flowers the likes of which I can only imagine!